Haiti 2008 storms

HAITI 2008 Storms – Gonaive Food Distribution

Delivery team poses during helicopter food delivery in NW Haiti


A fleet of 8 trucks deliver 50 tons of food for one days distribution


It takes about an hour to offload and count 50 tons of food that will feed 2000 families for two weeks.


UN peace keepers from Peru make sure the distribution is orderly and diciplined


Each family get 5 kilo pulse, 1.7 l oil and 25 kilo rice


Women exit the point of distribution with their 30 kilos of food stock.


Each shipment is verified by the World Food Program and AMURT staff early in the morning before distribution


Recipients get their food coupon the day before. Many opt to stand in line up to six hours before the distribution starts. Once the distribution starts the UN peace keepers keep order.


The General Carlos Alberto Santos Cruz has come to the National School in Bigot, Gonaives, where AMURT/EL is distributing food to the most in-need families at this period of emergency. The Commander of UN soldiers talked with our volunteers about the challenges of the reconstruction operations.


This day 2,000 families were bene(edited)d


The food is distributed though three stations: beans, oil and rice


UN peace keepers from Peru provide essential security for the distribution.


AMURT coordinators give recipient a helping hand in loading the 25 kilo rice sack every family receives


October 2, 2008. This day 2,000 families were benefited. Almost 50 tons of food were distributed


Picture taken: Sept 2008. More and more people come for food. Location: Gonaive, Haiti


Assisting with picking up large food bags


Assessing food distribution program


Women leaving with bags of food


Food awaiting distribution


Haitians leaving the compound with bags of food


People are waiting for the start of the distribution


AMURT and UN soldiers regulating distribution


Bags of food awaiting distribution


A line of more than 1300 people waiting for food


Food distribution in Gonaives


Heaving out mud and debris out of school


One of the schools in the work for food program scheduled for a complete cleanup


Food for work program in schools


Food for work cleanup at a school in Gonaives


Food distribution with the help of Peruvian UN battalion


First food distribution in Gonaives


Second food distribution in Gonaives


First water distribution after hurricane disaster


The food shortage is revealed even just by the desparation with which dock workers fight for each last grain of rice spilled after the loading of the food.


HAITI 2008 Storms – Gonaive flood damage

3 weeks after the hurricanes many areas are still flodded

The disaster has deepened the already profound isolation of this backward part of Haiti, making it a priority to direct the immediate reconstruction effort towards establishing all vital links of the area to the outside world

The floods have often brought along rivers of stones, covering roads and houses and cutting off vital access between villages

Flashfloods have severly impacted all shelters, forcing whole villages to the higher grounds and causing wide-spread suffering to people already brought to the edge by rising food prices and economic instability

The area's salt basins, once the major source of revenue for these impoverished villages, have now been completely destroyed. With the loss of revenue the villagers are facing an uncertain future of survival versus all odds

The floods have washed away all gardens, leading to massive food shortage about to hit the entire population living north of Gonaives

Food begins to trickle in, however it depends on very slowly boat transport...

Every grain counts

Food begins to trickle in, however the tremendous need is exasperated by a growing food scarcity, disrupted roads, and chaotic social situation

AMURT was one of the first disaster relief teams on the field, distributing 14 MTs of food in the hardest hit neighborhood, and setting up a Rapid Response Center to evaluate the situation

The future of Gonaives, one of Haiti's most revolutionary and potentially dynamic city, remains uncertain. Its hope is perged on the capacity of its people to find once again the strength within their minds and the compassion in their hearts, and the cooperation of the international community

Receding waters now allow residents to begin returning to their homes, however traffic is restricted to only large trucks

The city sits in a valley which does not have an easy drainage, making it an easy victim of the regular flashfloods coming down its eroded and environmentally degraded mountains

The mountains around Gonaives show the decades of abuse and lack of protective government laws prohibiting clearcutting. With no trees left the impact of cyclones is increased, and flashfloods remain one of the greatest danger

street traffic

The house of AMURT's mechanic, Fedo, is a typical example of what the residents will find when they manage to return back home. Fedo's 9-month pregnant wife spent two days on the roof of this house, holding on to the roofing so that the current does not carry her off

Debris and mud cover the majority of the houses, and the question of returning back home is still out for most residents of the city

The stream of refugees from the central areas to the higher grounds sometimes has to traverse chest-deep water, and signs of exhaustion and violence are everywhere

Large areas of the city are still submerged under water, forcing the residents to flee to temporary shelters and empeding any relief for days to come

This street was one of the liveliest market streets in Gonaives. Now the market is full of ragged groups of starving people exchanging their last supplies of scavenged food

The flashfloods return after even the smallest rain, regularly flooding the already battered city and making all attempts of disaster relief highly dangerous and sporadic

The force of the flashflood has carried trucks onto top of houses, revealing a scale of the disaster to be higher than previously predicted

Destruction in Central Gonaives

Large neighborhoods have been devastated to the point of almost complete destruction

Street Damage - Central Gonaives, September 11, 2008

Disaster pictures

Haiti 2008 Storms – initial asessment

Buried cars


AMURT staff walking through flooded streets and thick mud to relief programs


Streets of Gonaives


Streets of Gonaives


An inside view of a destroyed house


Madam telling her story


A couple badly affected by the hurricanes, tell their story to UN film maker


Filmaker from UN filming with our AMURT staff and community members from our zone


Walking through the streets


Walking through the streets


AMURT staff planning and assessing relief operations


AMURT staff planning and assessing relief operations


Destroyed cars litter the streets


Community meetings to arrange food distribution and food for work programs


Flooding and destruction weeks after the hurricane


People attempting to carry their belongings out of their destroyed houses


Typical scene of the flooded streets of Gonaives


Wading through the streets of Gonaives weeks after the hurricanes



Flooded villages in the northwest province weeks after the hurricane



Heavy flooding carves deep trenches and rivers through roads



Gonaive flooding



Floods in Gonaive Haiti



Gonaive flooding



A river of rocks. This once peaceful transit village of La Pie has been sweapt by a river of rocks which has severed the connection of all northern department with the south in numerous points.